Interviewer: What about bonding out?
Brian Geno: Many people make this mistake is that if you’re in jail and the Immigration has said that they want to hold you in addition to the state court system, then there’s a bond in both places. So, this would happen in the example of, say, an illegal alien who gets stopped for DWI. Because of the DWI, they go to jail and while they’re in the jail, the jail notifies ICE or the Immigration & Custom Enforcement that they have someone that they think is undocumented, so ICE takes a look at that person and says they want to hold that person for deportation purposes.
Immigration Authorities Can Arrest an Immigrant and Send them to an Immigration Detention Facility
The person is stuck in jail not only because the state said so but also because immigration said so. And so, two jurisdictions, two bonds. And so, if the person were to bond out in the state system and they bond out for the DWI, they will not be released but there’s nothing holding them in that state jurisdiction anymore. So, Immigration can now pick them and send them to an immigration detention facility like an immigration jail. The reason is because nothing was holding them in the state court anymore, the bond was paid so now they’re in immigration custody and they stay there and they’re never coming back. And so, the next time they’ll get out is in their country and it was all because they paid a bond in the state court case.
An Alien Who is Detained in the US Should Retain an Attorney to Handle the Immigration & Custom Enforcement Authorities
So, if a person is an alien and they wind up in jail for some reason, they should check with someone who knows about immigration law or someone who is sharp enough as a criminal defense attorney to find out if there is what they call an ICE detainer; Immigration & Custom Enforcement issues a paper that says, “Please hold this person until we have a chance to get custody”, and that ICE detainer is a clue to a person like me, a criminal defense attorney, that the bond in the state case should not be paid until the bond in the immigration context is handled and then, they could perhaps get out but otherwise, you’ll get the person deported and they won’t even — they’ll miss their court date for the state case.
Immigration Consequences Of Criminal Conviction for an American Citizen
Interviewer: What if a person became a US citizen, are they affected by immigration consequences of criminal convictions?
Brian Geno: They are not. A person who becomes a US citizen who then commits a crime that would have gotten them deported before is handled just like any other American citizen. American citizens are not deported. The only exception to that would be if the crime was that they defrauded the government in their immigration application to become a citizen because then the government could withdraw their citizenship. That’s very uncommon. I’m sure it happens more but I’ve seen it happened once since I’ve been practicing immigration law.
A Person Who Commits a Crime After Becoming a US Citizen Does Not Suffer any Immigration Related Consequences
Most of the time, when that person commits a new crime, they have no ability to go back to their country because now, their country is United States. If a person is apt to commit crimes in the future and they can become a citizen now, they should become a citizen now so they don’t get deported. That sounds funny, it sounds kind of strange to say that but it is a fairly common thing for a person who could be a citizen by now isn’t and they get deported. Many of times, it’s sad because their family is here and the crime that they just got convicted of and got deported for is something that would — they could get out of jail in 3 to 6 months and they’ll be back with their family at the end of it but because of that, they got deported and now, they can never become a citizen and they won’t be able to be back with their family.